Swisscom faces USD376 million fine

10 Apr 2006

Swiss competition authorities are seeking to fine Swisscom USD376 million following an investigation into termination rates charged by its mobile telephone business. The former monopoly, still controlled by the Swiss government, said it rejected the allegations and may contest the decision at an appeals commission or the Federal Court. ‘Swisscom Mobile rejects the allegation of misuse and views the threatened sanction as unjustified,’ the company said in a statement. Swisscom said the secretariat had recommended that Swisscom Mobile pay the fine for its alleged misuse of termination rates from April 2004 to May 2005.

The allegations come after the competition commission launched an investigation into termination rates charged by the three Swiss mobile carriers in October 2002. In its draft ruling, the commission took the view that, while all Swiss mobile carriers had a monopoly on incoming calls within their network, only Swisscom Mobile misused its dominant position in the market during the period by demanding excessively high termination fees. Swisscom countered that its mobile unit has been charging the lowest mobile termination fees of any Swiss carrier and had been making net repayments to its competitors, Sunrise and Orange, ‘on account of the lower price and higher outgoing call volumes,’.